Bill Green Photographs

What's online?

The online collection of Bill Green Photographs contains selected images from c. 1930 to 1974 that document Green’s operation of the Bill Green’s nightclub in Pleasant Hills, Pennsylvania. The collection includes images of Bill Green, his nightclub, musicians, radio broadcasts, and events.

What's in the entire collection?

The Bill Green Photographs contain images of Bill Green, his nightclub, musicians, radio broadcasts, and events. The collection includes souvenir photographs from the club, autographed celebrity photographs (including Jack McLean, Ted Weems, Tex Beneke, Sammy Kaye, Johnny Long, and Eddie Howard) and construction images.

About Bill Green

Bill Green was the owner and operator of Bill Green’s nightclub from 1930 to 1952. In the fall of 1930, Green took over the operation of a barbecue stand from his father on Route 51. The barbecue stand prospered enough by 1931 to require expansion of the dining room to add 120 seats to the 15 that had previously existed and the building of a screened-in veranda. In 1933, Green demolished the stand, leveled off the terraced gardens, built an entirely new construction with a pavilion stage and dance floor, and changed the name to simply, Bill Green’s. After rain cancelled a highly publicized Paul Specht performance, Green, in 1934, built the indoor club, adding 700 covered seats.

Throughout the years in operation, Green brought many performers from the national circuit to Pittsburgh. Among only some of the noteworthy are Lawrence Welk, Ted Weems, Eddie Howard, Earl Vernon, Louis Armstrong, Nat King Cole, The Ink Spots, Tony Pastor, Jack McLean, Rudy Vallee, and Bobby Meeker. The club also became a means by which local artists could gain national publicity when, starting in 1936, two radio stations, WCAE and WWSW, broadcasted live performances coast to coast, four times a week. Local artists who benefited from these broadcasts included: Sammy Kaye, Tommy Carlyn, Baron Elliot, Benny Burton and Clyde Knight. Bill Green’s nightclub was also utilized for proms, weddings, holiday parties, club functions, and banquets.

In 1953, Green constructed a shopping center at the location of the nightclub. With construction of the shopping center, Green turned his career to real-estate management and transformed the J.J. Gumberg Company, of which he was the former executive vice-president, into Bill Green and Company.

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